2 Replies Latest reply on Jan 19, 2007 1:22 PM by korkster911

    User Tracking

      I'm looking for the limitations and limitations of tracking users who put a cd into their cd-rom? I was thinking that postNetText would be the easiest and most simplified solutions to be able to send data to a server as storing it in a database.

      My questions is this? I know I can technically do what I wan't to do, but the next question is morals and security violations?

      Will port blockers or antispyware applications go crazy if I try to post text to the Internet? Will Norton have a hayday and prompt tons of warnings to the user? Unfortunately, I don't have access to hundreds of different machines and configurations so am looking for feedback here?

        • 1. Re: User Tracking
          Level 7
          The morality of the situation can not be told by anyone who doesn't know
          all about what info you are sending. In my opinion, it is wrong to send
          any information at all unless you have at least warned the user that you
          are doing it. If you are sending simple usage info, like the number of
          times a CD has been played or something with no user-specific info, then
          there shouldn't be a problem. If you are sending usernames, passwords,
          social security numbers, and whatnot, then you have a real obligation to
          notify the user of what is being sent, and you should encrypt the data
          in some way so no-one can capture your text in transit.

          Now on to the technological limitations. As soon as any internet access
          is attempted, anyone with a normal outgoing firewall (pretty much all of
          them apart from the useless one that comes with WinXP), will know that
          it is happening. Depending on the firewall program and the technical
          competency of the user, they may even be able to see exactly what text
          you are sending (postNetText sends its information in plain text, so it
          is easily discoverable with a sniffer). That should keep you honest,
          since people will likely see what you are sending, and if you are not
          telling them about it, they will find out. It is also another reason to
          use encryption...

          Again, depending on the firewall program, it may send multiple warnings,
          but not usually. If you prepare your users for it, then it won't be a
          surprise and they will hit Accept and then everything will work nicely.

          I don't know what you mean about a 'port blocker', but I'm pretty sure
          that postNetText and the other network related commands will be using
          port 80 (the standard HTTP port). If port 80 is blocked, then you may
          need to find another approach.
          • 2. Re: User Tracking
            korkster911 Level 1
            I agree and your point was exactly as I had anticipated. I'm not planning on sending any confidential info or anything weird. It's just for gathering usage stats. I have a project which will be around 200,000 discs I'd love to get a number of "how many of the 200,000" were actually inserted into the CDROM drives of people.

            Currently, I'm using the webXtra to pull data off the web when a user click on a "current" content section. So far, so good and no issues but the user still needs to initiate the click. Google analytics is then incorporated into the page that is being called.

            I'm just trying to avoid a "warning screen" that says "Attempting to connect to the Internet" without the user knowing... I'm not looking for a sneaky tactic, but something that's relatively solid for my needs.